It’s that time of year again. The kids are back in school. The air is just crisp enough to put on your favorite sweater and the urge to head out to the country and pick apples is overwhelming. So venture out of Southie this weekend and pick yourself a bushel and peck of farm fresh apples. Here are our picks for 5 Places To Pick Your Own Apples:
Honey Pot Orchards
Honey Pot Orchards is a favorite destination for many Southie families – it is not uncommon to bump into one of your neighbors at this kid-friendly orchard. Located in Stow, MA, you can pick a “Big Bag” (20 lbs.) for $28 bucks and that allows up to 5 people in the orchard to do the picking of MacIntosh, Cortlands, Ginger Golds, and even pears. Honey Pot has a hedge maze and tunnel maze for the kids to run wild in for $3 a person and family hayrides for a buck. They also sell amazing apple cider donuts.
Every day, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Honey Pot Hill Orchards, 144 Sudbury Rd., Stow, 978-562-5666, honeypothill.com
Also located in Stowe, MA, Shelburne Farms attracts lots of kids thanks to attraction like the petting zoo, moon bounce, pony rides and mazes galore. All of which can be enjoyed with the purchase of a $5 fun pass. Hayrides are an extra $2 per child. You can pay for apples by the peck (10 pounds) for $19 or by the half-bushel (20 lbs.) for $29.
Weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., open until 6pm on weekends. 106 West Acton Rd., Stow, MA 978-897-9287, shelburnefarm.com
Nashoba Valley Winery
If apple picking sans kids is more your speed, head to Nashoba Valley Winery. This beautiful 52 acre hilltop orchard overlooks the charming town of Bolton and offers wine tasting to its guests on the weekends. The first wine tour on Saturday and Sunday starts at 11:00 a.m. with additional tours conducted approximately every hour. The last tour of the day starts at 4:00 p.m This family-owned destination offers an orchard, winery, gourmet restaurant, brewery and an exceptional wine and gift shop. As for apple picking, Nashoba currently has ripe McIntosh with limited picking of Gravenstein and Zestar. 10 pound Peck Bag, admits 2 people into the orchard $25. 20 pound 1/2 Bushel Bag, admits 4 people into the orchard $35. Orchard is open until 4pm. Nashoba Valley Winery, Monday-Sunday 11am-6pm, 92 Wattaquadock Hill Road Bolton, (978) 779-5521, www.nashobawinery.com
Belkin Lookout Farm
At Belkin Family Lookout Farm the crops are fruitful including Honey Crisps, Macs, Galas, Ginger Golds in the apple category. There are also blue plums, peaches and Asian pears just ripe for the pickin’! Admission is $8 on weekdays and $14 for adults and $12 for children on weekends and holidays. This price includes lots of fun activities like train rides, a petting zoo, moon bounce, and a hay pyramid. You can fill your U-Pick bags with whatever fruit you’d like. Anything above and beyond is $2.50 per pound. If you really, really love apple picking, you can purchase a season pass for a family of four for $99 for unlimited access through November.
Every day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., (Children’s activities are available on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday Holidays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.), Belkin Family Lookout Farm, 89 Pleasant St., South Natick, 508-653-0653, lookoutfarm.com
In addition to picking apples, you can eat cider donuts and fudge! That’s all we need to know! Brooksby Farm is located in Peabody so not too far from Southie! There is also a farm fresh store that has pies and there’s a barnyard on site so you can get in touch with your inner-farmer. Open daily 9am-4pm. Located at 54 Felton St., Peabody, Massachusetts, 978-531-7456, $10 for 1/2-peck bag and $18 for 1-peck bag $32 for 1/2-bushel bag.
For accurate information about which fruits are ripe for picking – check with each orchard individually as crops may vary week to week.
Give us your favorite recipe for apples! Comment below and share your recipes for apple pie, apple crisp, apple muffins, anything apple.
Image via Nashoba Winery’s instagram!